Family of motorcyclist killed in crash walks out on apology - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Family of motorcyclist killed in hit & run crash walks out on driver's apology

Siaosi Feleunga Siaosi Feleunga
Gladys Berinobis, in green Gladys Berinobis, in green
Shana Rivera, holding baby Shana Rivera, holding baby
Kimo Kane, in black shirt Kimo Kane, in black shirt
Rod Kane, left Rod Kane, left

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - There were heated moments in an Oahu courtroom Monday, as the driver involved in a deadly hit-and-run crash in Waipahu received his punishment. The victim's sister called Siaosi Feleunga a "disgrace to society" and described his 10-year prison sentence as a "slap in the face."

With grieving family members packing one side of the courtroom, the man who caused their pain shuffled his way in fully-shackled and under tight security.

Siaosi Feleunga left the scene after his vehicle collided with a motorcycle near Waipahu Intermediate in 2008. The motorcyclist, Lindsay Kane, 47, died.

"That's why we are all upset," Gladys Berinobis, victim's mother, said. "How could you leave somebody lying on the road, leave him there to die?"

Surveillance cameras from the gas station nearby captured the crash. One photo shows Kane on his bike next to Feleunga's blue truck. Seconds later, the next photo shows the motorcyclist down.

"My uncle never had one enemy," Shana Rivera, victim's niece, said. "It wasn't his time to go. But because of you, we will never see him again."

The defendant, who already had multiple DUI convictions, pleaded guilty to negligent homicide, failure to render aid, and driving with a suspended license. The judge folded Kane's death and two unrelated misdemeanor cases together, and sentenced Feleunga to 10 years in prison.

"You guys still get paid. I go home without a brother," Kimo Kane, victim's brother, told the judge. "Ten years or less for killing my brother is not right."

When Feleunga turned to apologize, the victim's family got up and walked out. This time, he was the one left behind.

"I wanted to let the family know that I'm really very sorry for what had happened," the convicted driver said. "This was a tragic accident. I never intend for none of this for happen."

"Why put us through this whole agony, this pain and suffering, going to court, why?" Rod Kane, victim's brother, said outside the courtroom. "Then you want to talk to our family? We don't want to listen to that garbage 'cause that's all it is, noise."

Prosecutors say there was no way for them to know if alcohol was involved, which would have led to a more serious charge, because Feleunga didn't stick around after the collision. The victim's family plans to go before the Legislature and fight for stiffer penalties for drivers who flee crash scenes.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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